The official list of Record Store Day UK releases for 2020 has just been released, with more than 450 records going on sale across the country, and many worldwide, on Saturday 18 April.
This huge celebration of vinyl covers several special edition re-issues, some new material, classic film scores and plenty of before now unheard music from the archives of some of our favourite musicians.
Given the queues you’re likely to face getting into your local record shop on the day, it’d be folly to arrive unprepared. We’re making our lists, too, and here we’re sharing ten of the records we’re already budgeting for on the big day.
Selection From The Songs Of Avatars by Robbie Basho
Robbie Basho was not only a guitar virtuoso, but a sublime sonic tourist who incorporated Hindi, Indian, Japanese and Native American musical traditions into his works. Tompkins Square is set to release a 5CD set of previously unheard material named Songs Of The Avatars: The Lost Master Tapes, and this single disc LP contains seven of those pieces.
La Planete Sauvage by Alain Goraguer
Alain Goraguer’s music for La Planete Sauvage was included in our list of 10 of the best movie scores to test your system, so we’re delighted to see it on this year’s RSD list. The composer was at a creative peak when he was asked to score this early 1970s French animation, in which giant blue meditating Draags enslave human-like Oms on their planet Ygam, and it shows. A long-time collaborator and composer with Serge Gainsbourg, Goraguer’s breakbeats and psychedelic instrumentation are the perfect backdrop for a surreal allegory that painfully remains relevant in the 21st century.
Mingus Ah Um Redux by Charles Mingus
Between 1950 and 1960, Charles Mingus released more than 20 albums. But it’s Mingus Ah Um – packed with compositions written for or about his musical heroes, such as Lester Young and Duke Ellington, as well as less affectionate figures, such as Orval E. Faubus – that is the most consistently dazzling. Mingus Ah Um Redux contains a second disc of recordings from the album’s sessions previously released only on CD.
The Essential by Philip Glass
If any artist could truly be considered essential to have in your collection then Philip Glass is surely one. This 4LP numbered and limited deluxe box set (500 in the UK, 1500 worldwide) includes selections from Naqoyqatsi, Einstein On The Beach, Satyagraha, Akhnaten, The Photographer and more, comes with and eight-page booklet, and is available on vinyl for the first time.
Ritmo dell’industria n.2 by Alessandro Alessandroni
Having previously been reissued in 2017, Alessandro Alessandroni’s ultra-rare 1969 album Ritmo dell’industria n.2 – originals go for well over half a grand – is available again for another limited run of 500 copies. “The classic Alessandroni hallmarks are here: unexpected rhythms, irresistible melodies, occasional melancholia, wordless voices, inspired simplicity and a groovy period feel,” read Jonny Trunk’s liner notes.
Selected Works 1982 to 1989 by Joan Bibiloni
Continuing the NuNorthern Soul Selected Works series is this collection of Balearic guitarist Joan Bibiloni’s output from between 1982 and 1989. Complementing the LP of smooth Spanish islands tracks are sleeve notes compiled from interviews conducted by Marc Rowlands, plus a poster of the front cover sleeve artwork to adorn your listening room wall.
Kraftwerk by Kraftwerk
Both of Kraftwerk’s self-titled early albums are receiving the RSD treatment this year, so really this represents two recommendations in one. Their 1970 debut provides more of a rock sound than their later work, thanks to the use of two live drummers, but it is a clear starting point for a group who were to become one of the most important electronic acts of the 20th century – a force still being felt mightily to this day.
Let’s Get A Groove On by Lee Fields
Released for the first time since 1998, Let’s Get A Groove On is one of the most aptly titled records of the last few decades. A blistering set of soul and heavy funk, it showcases Lee Fields’s iconic vocal leading a collection of grooves that cement him as one of the all-time greats.
It Was All A Dream by Notorious B.I.G.
This gargantuan nine-disc box set features Notorious B.I.G.’s four albums bundled together for the first time. Ready To Die, Life After Death and Junior Mafia’s Conspiracy are all double LPs, while Born Again is set over three vinyl records, with all pressed on 180g clear vinyl and complete with liner notes from hip-hop journalist and author Kathy Iondoli. This is where the bulk of our wages will be heading.
Moderns by Biffy Clyro
The title of Biffy Clyro’s white vinyl RSD release for 2020 comes from the two tracks it covers: David Bowie’s Modern Love and, most pertinently, Frightened Rabbit’s Modern Leper. The latter is taken from the Tiny Changes album (pictured above) – a collection of covers celebrating the 10th anniversary of Frightened Rabbit’s The Midnight Organ Fight – and proceeds from sales here will go to the Tiny Changes charity set up in memory of the unparalleled Scott Hutchison.